October 4, 2009
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The 21st Century has been called many things-the Millennium, the "Me" Age, the time of "Now." I admit that this is all I've ever known, but when I read books or hear stories about how things used to makes me wonder. What has happened? No one cares about anything anymore-not anything, not anyone, including-in fact, perhaps especially-themselves. They may think they do, but's pretty sad.

There's a different between caring about yourself and being selfish. Most people don't realize that, and that is one of the biggest factors in the state the world is in. Anyone who really cares about their own well-being puts others first. How many people honestly do that? I don't see many. That is to say, I know good people who show genuine concern for those around them, but how often is that recognized? Not often enough.

On the other hand, narcissism is everywhere! It is on television, on the radio, in our government-even in our schools. What is narcissism? The term comes from the Greek myth of a beautiful young man named Narcissus who cared about nothing and no one but himself. He paid attention to absolutely nothing else, and ended up withering away transfixed by his own reflection.

Will we let this happen to us? Every time we ignore a need, or snub a friend, or even just neglect to spend time with family, we allow that poison creep into our lives. I don't pretend to be immune to this, but I know that being self-centered does not bring me happiness-rather, it makes me miserable. So how do we change?

At the end of each day, we must ask ourselves: "What have I done for someone else today?" Instead of insisting on having our own way, we must consider others' wants. All too often I see people with the attitude that nothing but their desires matter. If they would only change that attitude, they would be able to actually find happiness! No one can find true joy when he places his happiness before another's.

Refuse to be taken in by the images around you that are promoted as "happiness." Money, fame, disrespect-these will not bring a good life. Let go of that belief, or it will drag us-all of us-into a storm of disaster. Why is the economy in the frightening state we see today? Selfishness, dishonesty, over-indulgence. Let us be temperate, exercising self-control, and forget ourselves. Let us contribute, not take. The world is not about you. It is about us-every person is important. Every person has feelings, fears, dreams, desires. Only when we acknowledge that fact, putting others before us, and doing what we know is right-only then will we find peace of mind, and become a person worth being.

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